Blue Plate Catering's Good Old Kentucky Red Eye Barbecue Sauce Recipe

In honor of National Barbecue Month, Randal Jacobs, executive chef at Blue Plate Catering, is sharing this recipe for delicious barbecue sauce infused with whiskey (Jacobs recommends Chicago’s own Koval). So fire up the grill and invite your friends over to try this boozy barbecue sauce, which is the perfect addition to grilled chicken.

Good Old Kentucky Red Eye Barbecue Sauce

Yields 4 cups

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup Koval whiskey
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
  • 1 dash salt and pepper

1. In a large pot, melt the brown sugar until it dissolves and slightly bubbles. Add whiskey and cook for 3 minutes. Combine the above ingredients over medium heat.

2. Be sure to stir really well to incorporate all the dried spices.

3. Simmer for 30 minutes and stir often.

To Prepare Grilled Chicken Using Good Old Kentucky Red Eye Barbecue Sauce:

  • 2 whole chickens (3 pounds each)
  • 2 small lemons, cut in half
  • 2 cups good old Kentucky red eye barbecue sauce (divided)
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled

1. Heat grill for indirect grilling: Light one side of grill, leaving other side unlit. If you have vertical burners, just leave the back burner lit. Close lid; heat grill to 350 degrees.

2. Trim and discard excess fat from chickens. (Tip: Remove the back bone from the chicken, making it lay flat. This will cut down on cooking time and will yield the same great results.) Squeeze lemon juice into small bowl; reserve lemon halves. Add 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce and seasoning to juice; mix well. Place 2 lemon halves and 2 garlic cloves inside each chicken cavity.

3. Place chickens, breast-sides up, on grate over unlit area; cover. Grill 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until chicken is done (165 degrees), turning and brushing occasionally with sauce for the last 20 minutes. Place chicken over lit area and lightly char (the little charred pieces of barbecued skin is my favorite part to eat.) Remove and discard lemon halves and garlic from chickens before serving.